News has emanated from Pakistan that ex-President General Pervez Musharraf has been sentenced to death on charges of treason. The special court pronounced the sentence at Lahore. There was some doubt whether the special court will pronounce the sentence or not, as the Supreme Court had asked the special court to delay the verdict and sentence. The special judge ignored the directive and gave its verdict. This is a big blow to the military, which would not like its former Army chief to be hauled over coals and classified as a traitor.

The Hindustan Times has reported that General Parvez Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan for ten years, has now been found guilty of treason and given the extreme punishment of death.

Parvez Musharraf

Parvez Musharraf was handpicked by Prime Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and appointed the Army chief in 1998. He overthrew the elected Prime Minister and got him sentenced on charges of treason to life in prison. Saudi Arabia rescued Nawaz. The king intervened, and the sentence of life imprisonment was converted into exile for ten years.

Musharraf had a rollercoaster ride for ten years. He opted to join the war on terror after the ISIS attack on the twin trade towers in New York. However, he played a double game and, despite supporting the United States, also supported the Haqqani faction of the Taliban. This faction was responsible for the killing of many American troops. This perfidy of Pakistan was finally unmasked by President Donald Trump, who recently went for a medical checkup and referred to the Pakistan conduct as a great betrayal.


Musharraf was subsequently overthrown by the agitation of lawyers and the general public. They were not happy with the way he had handled the Lal Masjid episode. He had, at that time, dismissed the chief Justice. It was also alleged that the general had a hand in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who had been hanged by the Pakistani army on flimsy charges of murder.

Musharraf was also indicted for the killing of the Balooch leader Bugti in a military operation.

Musharraf had gone into exile in London and had returned to contest the last elections. His crimes caught up with him, and he was arrested. Subsequently, he was given bail, and he made good his escape to Dubai, where is he is now in exile.

BBC has reported that the three-member court sentenced him for high treason. The charge has been pending since 2013.

Accountability crisis

Pakistan is passing through an accountability crisis. The previous Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and his daughter to 7 years on corruption charges. Nawaz has now been allowed to go to London for medical treatment. Musharraf is not in very good health and is confined to Dubai. Most likely, he will continue to stay there, as he cannot come back. The award of the death sentence to him is a watershed in Pakistan politics. It shows that Pakistan's law had come a long way from the time when martial law was the watchword. The very fact that civilian courts have given such senior dignitaries like the Prime Minister and President prison terms and death sentence is by itself unique.

The present Prime Minister Imran Khan will vary of all that has happened. He will bear in mind that those who ride the Tiger are eaten by the Tiger.